Pandemic Politics - An Introduction

Acta Academica 53 (2):1-11 (2021)
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Abstract

The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 and the various measures taken subsequently, either by individual countries or by government and nongovernment bodies with a global reach, have had a profound effect on human lives on a number of levels, be it social, economic, legal, or political. The scramble to respond to the threat posed by the rapid spread of the virus has, in many cases, led to a suspension of ordinary politics whilst at the same time throwing into sharp relief the profoundly political nature of the pandemic. In addition to the new issues that have arisen regarding detection and treatment of the COVID-19 virus, perennial political issues regarding the limits of political authority, racial and gender justice, and populism and demagoguery have thrust themselves to the forefront of mainstream political discourse. This special issue, titled simply Pandemic politics, is a collection of papers that casts a critical perspective upon the political dimensions of the current pandemic. We have invited papers covering a broad spectrum of pandemic-related topics, especially with the focus on aspects of the pandemic in relation to the Southern hemisphere. The eight papers that made it to this volume are reflective of this broad approach and fall, roughly, into three categories, namely power and mistrust, disaster capitalism, and COVID-19: crisis or opportunity.

Author Profiles

Gregory Morgan Swer
University of KwaZulu-Natal

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